Nearly 280 million Americans will have seen America’s Heartland by the start of the show’s eighth season this fall, according research by TRAC Media, producers told show Advisory Board members this week at their biannual meeting.
Heartland is the only public TV show focused on telling the stories of American farms and farmers. It is produced by KVIE, a public television station in Sacramento, Calif., with sponsorship from the United Soybean Board, the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture and Farm Credit.
The show runs on PBS stations around the country and RFD-TV, reaching between 40 and 44 million views per season. Over seven seasons, 150 episodes have been produced including 800 stories of about 700 farm families from all 50 U.S. states.
Heartland segments cover the breadth and depth of American agriculture, from commodity crops to fruits, vegetables, cheese and meat production. In recent seasons, the show has incorporated an increasing number of cooking segments, bringing together farmers and well-known chefs, as well as short pieces explaining the origins of major food products or key nutrition facts.
The show’s TV presence is supplemented by robust online offerings, including a website that hosts every Heartland segment and episode for free viewing. The show’s YouTube channel has been viewed nearly 5 million times, with a pace of about 220,000 video views per month.
The show’s producers and advisers also support a robust educational outreach effort, primarily in partnership with the Farm Bureau Foundation and its programs Food, Land and People and My American Farm.
The America’s Heartland agriculture advisory board met Thursday in Denver to review results of the show’s seventh season and begin planning for the next season’s production.
NAWG serves as a member of the Heartland Advisory Board and as a Heartland promotional partner. NAWG and various wheat industry organizations use the show’s content extensively in online outreach and at special events, including the 2008 Urban Wheat Field project and at Commodity Classic.
NAWG Director of Communications Melissa George Kessler attended the meetings this week on growers’ behalf.
Much more from America’s Heartland is available online at www.americasheartland.org.